Iowa congressman weighs in after avian-flu state of emergency declared

Iowa issued a state of emergency in response to avian flu cases that came almost entirely from U.S. Rep. Steve King's Fourth District, one of the nation's biggest egg producers. | Courtesy of
U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) released a statement on Friday on Iowa's state of emergency that was issued over an outbreak of avian influenza H5N2.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad issued the state-of-emergency directive, along with Mark Schouten, director of Iowa's Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department, and Bill Northey, Iowa's agriculture secretary.

“The avian bird flu has drastically affected the Fourth District of Iowa with the loss of 15 million birds,” King said. “All but one of the reported incidences in Iowa are in my district – the No. 1 egg-producing district in America.

"I have personally been on site to see firsthand the damage done to our poultry producers and continue to be on daily conference calls with officials to figure out how we can best combat this outbreak,” King said. “I encourage everyone to take this situation very seriously and use the necessary and recommend precautions. Although available federal resources appear to be adequate, even for the massive scope of this disaster, I have been pushing hard every day for more and better methods for disposal and cleanup.

“If we are to save and rebuild a very important Iowa industry, there remains two very big questions,” King said. “How is it spread and under what conditions? How can we prevent this from happening again?

“I am glad to see that Governor Branstad declared a state of emergency in Iowa today,” King said. “We will do whatever it takes to help contain this disease and allow our producers to get back on their feet again.”

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Iowa Homeland Security & Emergency Management 7900 Hickman Rd Windsor Heights, IA - 50324

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